Without motivation, students have a hard time learning effectively. Sacramento California high school teacher and blogger, Larry Ferlazzo tackled this important topic of student motivation in his video titled, Helping Students Motivate Themselves. In the video, Ferlazzo points out the challenge educators face: creating the conditions in which students can bring desire and passion to the classroom.
He states that while extrinsic motivation, a common method used in facilitating motivation in students, has its time and place, it can also be detrimental to high order, creative thinking. He goes further to explain that extrinsic motivation tactics such as rewards, threats and incentives work better for basic, manual types of tasks. In order to boost student motivation, Ferlazzo suggests creating an environment where intrinsic motivation will flourish and describes the four elements associated with creating such an environment:
- Autonomy – students have a say in how and what they do. For example giving students choices such as in project based learning
- Competence – this addresses the need for students to feel they have good odds at succeeding. For example, giving praise for effort as opposed to natural intelligence, helping students see their own growth, giving students opportunity to create their own knowledge through teaching others and inductive learning
- Relatedness – this area has to do with teacher-student relationships. Ferlazzo gives an example of how good teacher-student relationships can help teachers tailor their lessons in ways that are relevant to students’ dreams and hopes
- Relevance – student achievement can be greatly enhanced when they are able to see how what they’re learning applies to other situations, connects to their interests or helps them achieve their goals and visions
In this informative video, Ferlazzo gives detailed descriptions and specific examples (some from his own teaching experience) of how these four elements can be applied in the classroom: